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Through PPV and with additional support from the Valles Foundation, scaling of the fish leather value chain is achieved, adding economic value to paiche!!!

Through PPV and with additional support from the Valles Foundation, scaling of the fish leather value chain is achieved, adding economic value to paiche!!!
One of the objectives of the PPV project was the scaling of innovative solutions. From the beginning, it was decided to achieve this objective through diversification in the production of paiche by-products, thus achieving greater benefits for the indigenous communities and artisanal fishermen of the Bolivian Amazon.

Through PPV and with additional support from the Valles Foundation, scaling of the fish leather value chain is achieved, adding economic value to paiche!!!
One of the objectives of the PPV project was the scaling of innovative solutions. From the beginning, it was decided to achieve this objective through diversification in the production of paiche by-products, thus achieving greater benefits for the indigenous communities and artisanal fishermen of the Bolivian Amazon.
In the first stage, PPV supported an artisanal tannery, led by Lincon Zapata, a fish leather specialist who has been working on the subject for 15 years. Lincon received additional training from ProBolivia, a public body that supports the leather chain. In addition, it was able to take advantage of a seed fund from the Valle Foundation, granted to FAUNAGUA, to build an experimental tannery, equipped with an innovative water treatment system. PPV gave all the initial support to consolidate this new chain, introducing good practices in fishing and skin extraction.

Lincon managed to consolidate its tannery and currently processes 10% of the raw material offered in the northern Amazon of Bolivia. But this process generated a spectacular snowball effect. Other tanneries appeared, with greater capacity than Lincon's, which began to buy skins (previously discarded). Currently, approximately 50% of skins are transformed into leather and used in the manufacture of shoes, belts and wallets.

The environmental, social, economic and cultural impact of this escalation is enormous:

  • Good practices were introduced in the use, resulting in less environmental impact;
  • Thanks to the good practices introduced in the fishing sites, the paiche meat reaches the market in better conditions, thus promoting food security.
  • The economic benefit of the fishermen increased with percentages between 10 and 20 %;
  • New links were created in the fish chain, with greater participation of women
  • The indigenous people, whose subsistence fishing based on native species was affected by the arrival of the paiche (invasive species), actively participate in this new chain and in this way manage to reduce the negative impact of the paiche on the ichthyofauna within their territories.
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